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Challenges and current developments for the German VET system

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The success of dual vocational education and training underlines the effectiveness of the German VET system. However, the securing and strengthening of the system remain a constant challenge.

Prognoses indicate that shortages will occur in the medium term, in particular at the level of skilled workers in possession of a vocational qualification. For demographic reasons, very many skilled workers in the intermediate qualification sector will leave working life in the period up until 2035. At the same time, the new supply of such skilled workers will decrease as the number of school leavers who could enter dual training continues to fall.

For this reason, the focus needs to be on joining forces with all parties involved to make dual training future-proof.

Against this background the following challenges for the further development of the German vocational education system can be detected:

  • improving transition from general education to VET and higher education
  • further developing guiding and counseling
  • securing future skilled worker requirements
  • reducing matching problems on the labour market (on the one hand young people don’t get the apprenticeship they opt for. On the other hand companies are facing recruitment problems)
  • increasing companies’ willingness to provide Training
  • securing the integration of young people from a migrant background and of refugees
  • seizing digitalisation of the world of work as an opportunity
  • fostering internationalisation 

VET Glossary

Matching problem

(Mismatch): A situation where there is a (qualitative) discrepancy between the qualifications and skills that individuals possess and those that are needed by the labour market.

Source: CEDEFOP 2015, Europe

Specific terms used on this page: